skewed perspective

Skewed Perspective

This painter’s point of reference is a frame.
That being so, the view portrays a scene:
a pictured scene, that forms a likeness; same
or similar images sit between
vertical and horizontal axes.
Colour-saturated canvas with scrapes
of land and sea, clouds and sky in patches;
an ornamental arrangement of shapes
drawn together; intermingled, condensed,
poised in proportion. Constrained it would seem,
fixedly, to the one common bound: fenced,
measured and matched to a spatial theme.
. When frames of reference are viewed selective,
. they’re often squared to a skewed perspective.

© Tim Grace, 6 July 2011


To the reader: Frames of reference hold the contents of a picture in place and establish the dynamics of a visual arrangement; as perceived. Whether a visual artist can claim to have captured what is beyond their canvas or lens is an interesting point. Is deliberate omission part of the viewing experience? To paint or photograph a scene without its protagonist, without its feature, gives the viewer the ‘power of suggestion’ to answer what’s missing. Frames are not borders.

To the poet: Constraints are at the centre of this poetic piece. Its theme argues a contrivance; that being: any captured picture is a selectively squared-off visual arrangement. A poem, on the other hand, is boundless in its suggestive use of imagery. In making reference to a poetic landscape I have relied upon the reader’s visual interpretation of “scrapes of land and sea” … to be conjured at will.


skewed perspective skewed perspective
nothing of extent

Nothing of Extent

For over an hour I have sat,
Writing nothing on this page,
I’ve watched people doing this and that,
As they’ve walked across my stage.
In some respects a waste of time.
An indulgence poorly spent.
I haven’t paired a single rhyme,
I’ve done nothing of extent.
I’ve pondered nothing too absurd,
Nor tackled the contorted.
I’ve cast myself in roles preferred,
As here I’ve seen assorted.
. The absent-minded hour has its worth,
. It helps explain our time on Earth.

© Tim Grace, 4 June 2011


To the reader: Just before harvest time I presume a farmer contemplates; spends time thinking about the task ahead. Is my next poem a crop unreaped? According to Wittgenstein my desire to speak is to test a paradox. I propose relationships to explain my representation of the world; as a thought. No essence of language, no one truth in language, meaning is use, linguistic differences. Private language, thought precedes language. the language of thought … if you know what I mean!?

To the poet: Words – they don’t come easy. The translation of thought into ink on a page is a physical struggle that I enjoy. The scripting of ink, not pencil or key board, adds a permanency to the drafting process. From the first touch of ink, my poems are under construction; every discarded phrase leaves a record of my mental meanderings. Word-smithing wrought with wonder!


nothing of extent nothing of extent
hyde park

Hyde Park (Sydney)

Welcome to Hyde Park, home of the wombat,
the fleet footed xylophone,
the inverted umbrella and the feral cat.
Where the ingenious mind casts in stone
its love of country and the park bench.
Where jet-lag creates chaos on the streets,
and “Look Right” is meaningless in French.
Where traffic lights play endless repeats
of Jeckyl and Hyde – the amusement park
open all hours, street theatre,
spontaneously triggered by a spark;
where strange ways just get weirder!
. We all need somewhere to park ideas,
. to ponder thoughts and tackle fears.

© Tim Grace, 2 June 2011


To the reader: Sydney’s Hyde Park is surrounded by buildings and squared by traffic; within these confines it provides the city with quintessential greenery. The incidental visitor has no attachment to its physical features and so explores the park with gormless wit. Broad sweeps of lawn intersect at a war memorial swallowed by a pool of remembrance. An assortment of locals define the park’s character as miscellaneous.

To the poet: Without ridiculing Hyde Park, its history is an oddity, its placement a curiosity; and so, a nonsense poem pays it fitting tribute. The playful and suggestive references are obscure; hopefully not too self-indulgent. How far a poet can stretch a reader’s interest in nonsense is dependent on curiosity. The curiosity factor gives to nothing its substance… and there you have the value of a park.


hyde park hyde park
time is tense

Time is Tense

Expansive time will not be caught,
put on pause to cause delay.
Expensive time will not be bought;
beg nor borrow tomorrow’s day.
Time has not the nature to be still,
it’s too erratic to be framed.
It matters not your strength of will,
time will not be tamed.
Evasive time will not be gripped,
not be chained, with lock and bolt.
Elusive time will not be clipped;
not contained within a vault.
. Elapsed time has no recompense,
. it’s this regret that makes it tense.

© Tim Grace, 27 May 2011

To the reader: Time, as Shakespeare discovered, is most cruel on the living. We who age, suffer the ravages of time; have stolen our youthful prime. In the end, acceptance is our best defence. Once resigned to the impact of time, this beast ceases to be our enemy; never a friend, more an acquaintance. And as an acquaintance, time offers legacy; the past is an archive; a fathomless vault. Love lives, until the death of time, in a Shakespeare sonnet.

To the poet: Four blocks of verse related to a common theme; a coarsely sewn thread of thought about time. While not rhythmically satisfying, this sonnet achieves its interest through internal word-similarities (expansive and expensive; elusive and evasive). In a poem’s writing phase, the interest of word features is ever-present. As one word suggests another by sight or sound they both enter the realm of possible inclusion; a fusion of sorts.

time is tense time is tense


count not the clown

Count not the Clown

It’s the full deck that makes us sure
We’re not the house of cards that trembled;
With thirteen runs in sets of four
As luck would have assembled.
It’s the full pack (red and black)
That finds trump in awkward shuffle.
It’s the bold attack, from humble stack,
That best will cause kerfuffle.
It’s the full set that serves us best;
That most completely deals our hand:
To cope with what might manifest,
To make good from what is bland.
.   Count not the clown, not that foolish stoker;
.   As by name, he’s nothing more than joker.

© Tim Grace, 22 May, 2011


To the reader: The history of playing cards dates back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907), when members of the Chinese royal house entertained themselves with courtly pass-times. My notion of a full deck is inherited from a European tradition of 52 cards arranged in four suits of 13 cards. The mathematical versatility of 52 cards is convenient and probably accounts for its widespread use. A full-deck has symmetry and sequence; pattern and probability; traits that appeal to someone of corresponding age!

To the poet: Punctuation of a poem is part of the puzzle. Keeping it simple is one approach. Alternatively, a liberal smattering of syntactic signage is very helpful in ensuring adherence to the poet’s preferred phrasing. For some poems punctuation is a secondary matter that suggests its own logical placement. In this sonnet, punctuation is placed to be an obvious obstruction; and an intended instruction.


count not the clown count not the clown
no good can come

No Good Can Come

No good can come of this … surely.
In the end truth will out,
to reveal just how poorly
our captains, our leaders, go about…
Surely, we are not prisoners to this
misdirected manipulation of good.
It can not be that we are captives,
confined to the limits of must and should.
Surely, it is through free will (not ill),
that goodness finds itself expressed.
Surely then, only then, and not until,
as free … we will see good’s best.
. When shackled, good can get no better;
. set it free from chains and fetter.

© Tim Grace, (WS-Sonnet 66: line 12) 14 May 2011


To the reader: Goodness is a quality, a state of being attributed to anything that makes a worthwhile contribution. For those wielding power the branding of ‘good’ is a priceless claim. Unfortunately, goodness is open to manipulation by those with nefarious intent. Often the claim of betterment, for a good cause, has a self-serving purpose only revealed when deception is post-hoc revealed; after the fact is known… what good is that?

To the poet: Surely… is the anchor-point of this sonnet which responds to Shakespeare’s frustration with the corruption of good. Incredulous… he shakes his head ‘how could this be so?’ Placing ‘surely’ at the end of the first line and then repeating it at the beginning of each quatrain gives it emphasis; surely enough to ease frustration… some good may come of that!




no good can come no good can come